Minor in Possession (MIP)

This page is dedicated to explaining what is minor in possession (MIP), the punishments associated with it, and how a MIP attorney can help you or your child in a MIP case.

What is minor in possession?

When a minor (anyone below the legal drinking age) is found in possession of alcohol, drinking alcohol, or attempting to purchase alcohol, he/she can be charged with minor in possession or MIP. While most of the states define the legal drinking age as 21, a few jurisdictions have set their MIP laws where it only targets minors below the age of 18. In these very few jurisdictions, only minors who are under the age of 18 can be charged with MIP.

While most states set their DUI threshold at BAC of 0.08, minors will be charged with MIPs even if their BAC is below the standard for a DUI.

What are the punishments for minor in possession?

Minor in possession is a civil infraction and is a misdemeanor. MIPs are punishable by civil penalties. Because alcohol possession is a local police matter, it is governed by the state government. While each state has its own rules, regulations and punishments for minor in possession, a generalization can be drawn as to how all the states punish people who are guilty of minor in possession.

If you or your child is found guilty of MIP, these are the most likely consequences:

  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Fines up to $500 dollars or more
  • Community Service
  • Compulsory enrollment in a substance abuse class

My Child is under 18, can she be charged as an adult in MIP?

Yes, some state prosecutors will charge minors as adults to the full extent of the law in minor in possession in case. It will be up to the prosecutors in your state or city who will ultimately make this decision. You won’t know how your child will be charged until he/she is charged.

My child already paid the fines and did community services for MIP, what else can happen?

If a minor is found guilty of MIP, the charge will stay with her record for a long time. In addition, the MIP conviction will affect the minor’s ability to

  • Apply for college
  • Apply for jobs
  • Apply for car insurance

How can a MIP attorney help me or my child?

If you or your child is facing legal charges for violating your state’s MIP laws, a trained MIP attorney may help you fight and defend your rights in court.

It is very important that you contact a MIP attorney to learn how they may be able to help you or your family in a MIP case.

A minor in possession attorney can help determine the following elements which will affect how your MIP case will turn out:

  • Whether you or your child, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated city or state law;
  • Whether the arresting police or law enforcement officer followed the law
  • Whether your conduct did constitute a criminal violation
  • Whether you have an affirmative defense to the MIP case.

Complete the form on the right hand side to have local MIP attorneys call you directly. The form is quick and easy to complete and an attorneys will contact you at no cost or obligation.